Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pasta with Tri-colored Tomato Basil Sauce

My friend Lisa, as I've mentioned, is an avid gardener, and almost all of the main ingredients in this sauce came from her garden. She often finds herself with a surplus of cherry tomatoes (I think at last count she had 6 different kinds growing in her garden), and I am always willing to lend a hand with helping her consume them. This time, she gave me a whole bag of different kinds of smaller tomatoes, as well as a bag of fresh basil and a few peppers. My other friend Katie supplied some roma tomatoes from her garden. This sauce was incredibly flavorful and didn't need much added to it in terms of spice; it just needed some time to simmer and develop its flavor. It was so good because the ingredients were fresh and home-grown; you can't beat having friends who garden! Pasta with Tri-colored Tomato Basil Sauce 1/2 cup brown rice pasta shells 2 cups assorted small tomatoes (I used tomatoes my friend Lisa gave me from her garden: cherry, yellow pear, and a few other kinds), chopped in half 2 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped finely 1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. Earth Balance "Buttery Spread" 1 - 2 tsp. minced garlic 1/2 medium onion 3 tsp. minced hot pepper (I used Macho Nacho peppers from Lisa's garden) 2 - 3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp. dried oregano 1/2 tsp. dried parsley Salt and pepper to taste Cook the pasta according to directions until it is al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil and "Buttery Spread" in a pot and add the garlic and onions. Saute over medium heat until the onions start to become translucent, and then add the tomatoes, minced hot pepper, basil, oregano and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer together for about 15 - 20 min. (at least) to allow the flavors to mingle. Adjust the spices if necessary, but if you use fresh, home-grown tomatoes, the flavor will be incredible as it is. Serve over pasta and top with Parmesan cheese (or fake equivalent) and a few pieces of fresh basil to garnish.